Tyler Cook to Enter NBA Draft Evaluation Process

Story by Luke Maiers

Iowa's Tyler Cook (5) goes to the basket between Nebraska's Anton Gill (13) and James Palmer Jr. (24) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018. Nebraska won 98-84. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Iowa City, IA – Tyler Cook announced on Friday that he will be entering the NBA Draft evaluation process. Now, before everyone freaks out, this does not mean that Cook is forgoing his final two years at Iowa. This simply means that he is going to go through an evaluation with NBA scouts. This rule was implemented a few years ago to allow collegiate players an opportunity to receive feedback from the NBA. The feedback players receive equips them with the information they need to make the best decision they can for themselves. It also helps them learn what skills NBA scouts think they need to be working on. 

Two players that pop into my head that have also done this are Peter Jok, and the 2016-2017 Big Ten Player of the Year, Caleb Swanigan. Both players benefited from the evaluation in the long run. 

In Jok’s junior year, he averaged 16.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. Those numbers all jumped in his senior season where he would average 19.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists.

Swanigan was told that he was out of shape when he went to be evaluated. He was an absolute beast when he came to Purdue the next season. His freshman year at Purdue he averaged 10.2 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists, but he was mainly a post player. Swanigan was able to develop a jumper in his sophomore season and averaged 18.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists. He also shed the weight needed and was drafted into the NBA the following year.

Don’t think of this as a bad thing yet, Iowa fans. Tyler Cook needs to look out for himself and his family first. That should be his priority. He deserves the opportunity to be evaluated by NBA scouts. He should be seeking that type of information. It’s nice to see Fran McCaffery and staff supporting him in that decision. There’s a good chance that information will help Cook improve on his already impressive skill set. Obviously, if Cook decides to return to Iowa then that improvement will be a tremendous benefit to his team. 

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